The Seven-Cents Streetcar Fare


These photographs show the seven cents – a nickel and two pennies – that my grandmother, Sandra Randolph Senentz, was given to ride the streetcar when she was a young girl in the 1950s and 1960s. She fondly remembers using her seven cents to ride the streetcars, which she states was a “way of life in New Orleans.” When she didn’t pocket the change to use for other expenses, like food, clothes, and dates, she often rode the streetcar to see the different shows at the Loews Theater, to get to school at Warren Easton High School, and, eventually, to get to her job at Prudential on Carondelet Street. She would also ride the streetcar with mother and grandmother, since the family only had one car – a station wagon. Her family had been riding streetcars in New Orleans since the first Randolph immigrated to New Orleans around the 1830s from Germany. Although the fare changed over the years, riding the streetcars was a staple in her family’s life, and when she rode it, she felt connected to her immigrant great-great-grandparents. When she looks at the seven cents and at the streetcars, she is reminded of a time when she was younger and when life was simpler. 

Place(s): New Orleans, Louisiana

– Daniel Senentz, Jr.

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more